DPS Athwajan commercialising education, earning huge money: Fee Fixation Committee

Srinagar, Nov 02: The Committee for Fixation and Regulation of Fee of Private Schools (FFRC) Tuesday said that Delhi Public School (DPS) Athwajan was using the institution to earn the huge money.

According to the official documents available with the news agency, FFRC has said, “From the facts, it prima facie appears that by a well thought-out plan, the educational institution (DPS) is being used for earning huge money, which money could not have been earned by big business houses.”

FFRC said that the committee is under statutory obligation to ensure that there is no commercialization of education.

“The facts which have unfolded from the record in this case call for thorough enquiry in the financial affairs of DPS School, Athwajan, Srinagar to ensure that there is no commercialization of education and to secure the purpose of Jammu and Kashmir School Education Act’ 2002 and the repeated orders of the Supreme Court for ensuring that there is no commercialization of education, it is accordingly ordered that the government shall appoint an independent authority for looking and enquiring into the financial affairs of DPS, Athwajan, Srinagar, more particularly in the light of observations made in this order,” it reads

“The authority shall submit its report to FFRC within two months from the date of its appointment and till further orders from FFRC, the Chairman, Principal or the School Management of DPS School, Athwajan, Srinagar shall maintain the fee structure (excluding admission fee) which was being charged in academic session 2018-19, as Chairman of the School has admitted that no hike was made in fee structure for last three academic sessions,” FFRC said.

The committee said that the matter will be considered again after two months

“The School Management is restrained from charging and collecting admission fee, refundable deposit fee, security deposit from the students or the parents, being not permitted by Section – 20F (1) of the Jammu and Kashmir School Education Act’ 2002.

FFRCs take on in the case

What has been observed in this order, it further surfaces that there are huge disparity between the payments stated to have been made in terms of Receipts and Payments Statement and the Rent Paid in the particular year to the landlords.

Besides this, approximately six Crores of rupees have been spent on repairs and maintenance from 01.04.2017 to 31.03.2020.

The DPS Memorial Trust is set-up by Vijay Dhar, his wife and two sons, who act as trustees thereof the DPS Memorial Trust has set-up the School named DPS School, Athwajan, Srinagar.

The receipts and payments statements show that amounts between 40 Crores to 50 Crores each have been received during the aforesaid 03 financial years.

The receipts and payments statements of these years further show that every year a loan is being advanced by a particular group of people to the school and they are receiving back, prima facie, more than what has been advanced as loan to the School or the Trust. What is the requirement of advancing loans each year in the face of the huge income of School, begets answer?

Admittedly, 12 percent interest has been charged and received on the loan.

This loan facility is being provided by the trustees or the owners of the land. Even the financial institutions hardly charge 12 percent interest on commercial loans. Had the School in requirement of getting any financial assistance, then the financial institutions/scheduled banks shall provide same on meager interest in view of the fact that the financial assistance was required for running affairs of the educational institution, which imparts education, otherwise a charitable work.

The rent is being collected by the trustees of the trust, who happen to be landlords of the land.

At least eleven cars have been kept at the disposal of the school without specifying at whose disposal they are and what is the need of keeping eleven cars in the educational institution.

Huge amounts have been paid as expenses for hostel and food, when the School is a Non-Boarding School.

Huge expenses have been made on advertisements, travelling, running of cars etc

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